Thai rice exports decline in first half of 2012 due to unattractive prices

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BANGKOK, 25 July 2012  – The Thai Rice Exporters Association has revealed that the quantity of rice exports in the first half of this year has reduced by nearly half compared to the same period last year. 

Thai Rice Exporters Association Chairperson Kobsuk Iamsuree said that Thai exporters are suffering price competitions, as Thai rice price is higher than those of other countries.

Thailand has fallen from a world ranking as the number one rice exporter for several years. It is now the third in the ranking. The association said that from the beginning of the year until July 10th, India exported the highest volume of rice in the world at 3.61 million tons, followed by Vietnam at 3.52 million tons.

In the first half of this year, Thailand exported 3.45 million tons of rice, worth 71 billion baht, a sharp fall from the same period last year, when 108 billion baht worth of rice was exported. Major importers of Thai rice are South Africa, ASEAN, and the Middle East.

The association expects the country to export around 3.05 million tons of rice in the second half, which will make the overall rice export in 2012 to stay around 6.5 million tons, a 39% decrease. India and Vietnam are expected to export 8 and 7 million tons respectively this year.

With India having enough rice reserve to export all year round and weak rupee, Ms Kobsuk said Thai rice exporters will continue to suffer. She said the low price from India is pushing the world rice price down; Vietnam also reduced its price to even lower than the Indian price in February.

Thai Rice Exporters Association said it is willing to discuss with the government ways to help release accumulated rice in government stocks.